Omega 3 is a collection of fatty acids, very essential for your health. For the same reason, it is an important part of our regular diet as well. Vegetarian sources of omega 3 include several seeds, nuts, fruits as well as vegetables.
There are three types of omega 3 fatty acids: The first is alpha-linolenic (ALA) found in plant based foods. The other two are DHA and EPA, generally found in cold water algae and in fishes. Alpha-linolenic (ALA) is the most important source of omega 3 fatty acids in vegetarian.
Why Are Vegetarian Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids Required?
The encouraged nutritional allowance (RDA) for alpha-linolenic acid is 1.6 grams per day for men and 1.1 grams per day for women. So, it is necessary for vegetarians to have omega 3 rich vegetarian foods in their diets.
Omega 3 Foods Vegetables
Veggies including seaweed and algae, brussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli etc. are excellent vegetable sources of omega 3.
1. Seaweed and Algae
Nori, spirulina, seaweed and chlorella are distinctive varieties of algae containing several nutritional benefits.
These vegetables are vital assets of omega 3 for human beings on a vegetarian or vegan diet. These are one of the few plant sources that comprise DHA and EPA.
Nori is a tasty addition to sushi while spirulina can be added in smoothies. Furthermore Algal oil also stands proud as one of the few vegan assets containing both EPA and DHA.
Also Read: Probiotic Foods
2. Brussels Sprouts
Another omega 3 rich vegetarian food is Brussels sprouts. In addition to vitamin K and C, it is an amazing source of omega 3 fatty acids.
Studies have revealed that incorporating cruciferous veggies in diet lowers the risk of heart diseases. So, have it roasted, steamed, blanched or stir-fried to add a healthy touch to your meal.
- Raw Brussels sprouts contains about 44 mg of ALA per half cup.
Spinach can enhance the functions of the brain and boosts memory. It decreases the hazard of coronary heart problems and helps regulate blood strain as well.
- 100 grams of spinach incorporates 370 milligrams of omega-3.
It is one of the widely available omega 3 rich vegetables in India. Apart from being a good source of crucial vitamins, it saves the vegetarians by offering Omega-3. One cup of cauliflower can provide about 28 calories.
Omega 3 Fruits
Did you know that your regular fruit consumption can help you with Omega-3? Well, that’s right! Your omega 3 intake can be fulfilled by some luscious fruity goodness. Let’s have a look.
This summer delight has a very balanced Omega 3 vs Omega 6 fatty acids ratio. Not simply this, they’re loaded with protein and important nutrients and minerals.
You can incorporate mangoes as a great source of omega 3 fatty acids in several ways. Add it in your smoothie, yogurt bowl, ice cream, or salads. If you are in the mood for sweets, you can make some desserts as well.
Also Read: Winter Season Fruits in India
It is another great option for omega 3 rich fruits available in India. Considering the lower percentage of Omega 6 fatty acids in it, melons can be a healthy addition in your diet.
Enjoy this sweat, fleshy fruits as a snack to add omega-3 in vegan diets.
Berries are quite versatile and easy to incorporate in regular foods. Make a fruit bowl, add it to smoothie, yogurt or simply eat it as a go-to snack.
Although it’s not widely available in the Indian market, avocado has also a good amount of omega 3 fatty acids. Due to the issue related to availability, it is also a little pricey.
Despite its high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, the total amount of omega-6 in avocado is comparatively small. So, it is safe to have and easy to add in your regular diet plan.
Omega 3 Seeds and Beans
Seeds are a great addition to any diet plan because of their nutritional benefits. But it can be your ultimate choice of omega 3 rich vegetarian foods as well.
1. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds is quite affordable and easily available in the Indian market. Add some texture in your salads, smoothies with chia seeds in your vegetarian diet.
- Chia seeds contain 4,915 mg of ALA in one ounce i.e. 28 grams.
2. Flax Seeds
By adding flax seeds in your diet, you can get 6,388 mg of ALA with every 28 grams of serving. Apart from being a good vegetarian omega 3 source, it also offers protein, magnesium and manganese.
Bring some crunchy and nutty flavour in your regular oatmeal, cereal, or salads with flax seeds.
- Flaxseeds contain 6,388 mg of ALA with 28 grams of serving.
3. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds offers iron, zinc and a good amount of protein to boost your overall health.
Hemp seeds are quite helpful to recover quickly after a heart attack. You can bake with this seed or sprinkle some on salads, yogurt, smoothie etc.
- Hemp seeds contain 6,000 mg of ALA in 28 grams
4. Edamame Beans
These beans are basically immature soybeans, especially famous in Japan. Endmame beans is good in omega-3 and also supply plant-based protein.
Boiled or steamed edamame beans taste delicious when added in salads or served as a facet dish.
- A half-cup serving of frozen Edamame Beans provides 0.28 gram of ALA.
5. Kidney Beans
Kidney beans are a well-known source of omega 3 fatty acid with 0.10 gm of ALA per half-cup.
They make a great addition to cold and hot salads, soups, and even pastas.
- Kidney beans contain 0.10 gram of ALA per half-cup.
Omega 3 Dry Fruits
If you are a vegetarian and fond of eating nuts, then you have got it covered! Have a look at the list of omega-3 rich nuts to add in your vegetarian diet plan.
One of the greatest sources of omega 3 fatty acid is walnuts. It provides 3.346 gram of ALA per cup of walnuts to meet your body’s requirement.
Enjoy walnuts as a snack or add some in your favourite salads, smoothies, protein bars etc.
- Walnut contains 3.346 gram of ALA per cup.
Cashews are a widely used dry fruit available in India. With 0.14 gram of omega 3 present in every 100 grams.
Use it in baked goods, have it as a snack or add it in the curries to tone down the spice. You can also add cashews in oatmeal, smoothie etc.
- Cashew contains 0.14 gram of ALA per 100 grams.
So, it’s time you stop worrying about having enough Omega-3 in your vegetarian meal plan. These versatile omega 3 foods can make your everyday foods delicious and healthy at the same time!